Seniors James Chapman, Sarah Wu, Kelly Zhang, and Dylan King won two awards at the mathematical modeling competition, continuing NCSSM's winning streak.


Four bring home math modeling and presentation awards from Singapore

A team of four NCSSM students returned from the Singapore International Mathematics Challenge (SIMC) with two awards for their mathematics, creativity, and presentation skills.

NCSSM seniors James Chapman, Dylan King, Sarah Wu, and Kelly Zhang won a Distinction Award at the competition, placing them among the top 13 schools competing in the math event. Teams from 62 schools from 30 countries around the world traveled to Singapore to participate in the five-day mathematical modeling challenge, pitting both their mathematical skills and creativity against each other.

In the challenge, students are given 36 hours to solve a complex problem and prepare an oral presentation to present their solution to a panel of judges. In addition to the Distinction Award, NCSSM’s team was one of only three teams to win the Special Award for Presentation. The students were accompanied by Philip Rash, mathematics instructor, and Donita Robinson, mathematics dean. “I was simply very impressed with the work that our team did,” said Rash. “Donita and I saw one of their presentations, and it was clearly very well-rehearsed — they had a lot of information to share in a short amount of time.” 

At least one team from NCSSM has competed in each biennial mathematics event since the competition’s inception in 2008. NCSSM teams have a solid record at the competition, winning an award for distinction every year other than 2012, when NCSSM’s team won the title of grand champion. NCSSM teams have also won special awards for presentation and practical solutions, and a commendation award. “Many faculty and staff at NCSSM should take some credit for the team’s success,” said Rash. “The students learn so much in so many different classes, and it’s fun to see them merge all that they’ve learned while working at a contest such as this one.” 

SIMC is an international biennial mathematics event that provides opportunities to fuel students’ interest in mathematics and spur them to reach for greater heights. The event aims to bring together bright mathematics students from around the world to pit their skills in a rigorous competition where they demonstrate both their mathematical skills and their creativity through a mathematical modeling challenge.

SIMC participants also swept the mathematics departmental awards at NCSSM’s annual year-end Awards Ceremony. James Chapman, Dylan King, and Kelly Zhang all received departmental awards, and, as all were in Singapore at the SIMC during the ceremony, medals were awarded to a music stand with photos of the students in their stead.